Thursday, November 30, 2006

Reason #256 why PDX is a good place to live!

Originally uploaded by Martina.
Today the city council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution urging the cessation of combat operations in Iraq. Although the victory is largely symbolic, it is heartening to know that I live in a community that is unwilling to turn a blind eye to the costs (both in money AND human life) of this war.

As of November 2006, Portland taxpayers have spent some $419 million dollars funding a war that has killed what some estimate some 600,000 Iraqis and killed and wounded thousands of our own troops. While I know that the resolution does not mean the end of the war, it's nice to think that I live in a community that values the funding of education, health care and humanitarian assistance over waging a war of vague official purpose (fighting terror? spreading freedom? oil? money?) and vast human cost.


Chris said...

It was unanimous? What a fine bunch of upstanding chaps your city councillors must be, or, if you prefer, yay! Go Portland!

The figure you used for the number of Iraqi deaths is way out of date. The study published almost two months ago by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimated that 600,000 civilians have been killed since the invasion. Their margin of error puts the actual number in the range from 426,369 to 793,663 deaths.

I think that would make it, on average, more than one 9/11 per week. And that's in a country of only 26 million people.

Good coverage of that study can be found in this New York Times article.

Martina said...

Thanks for the article. I had seen the Hopkins study elsewhere as well. The problem with any of those figures is that they vary so widely depending upon the source. The U.S. government ones are, of course, always on the low end of the spectrum. I'm more inclined to believe the higher estimates. The "over 100,000" was pulled from a published article about the resolution (actually it just said 100,000, no over), which is interesting considering that I just learned that the resolution itself quotes the Hopkins figure. I guess it's not only the government that skews figures. So much for the "liberal media"!

All of that aside, Portland is great when it comes to this sort of thing. Like I said, when you were complaining that everyone thinks we're insufferable doofuses (doofi? ;-)) for reelecting the present administration, "We're not ALL like that."

Anyway, thanks for reminding me of the Hopkins study. I'll have to change that figure.